LOS LUNAS, N.M (KRQE) – A New Mexico veteran is finally telling his story. It comes more than 50 years after he and fellow soldiers trudged through jungles of Vietnam.
It was a dark time. A time many veterans sill can’t bring themselves to talk about but Buddy York decided it was time.
In the book titled, All I Ever Wanted To Be Was A Soldier, in black and white, George Buddy York tells a descriptive story of his past.
With each word, an experience is shared.
“My team had been compromised. We were surrounded and we had about 80 percent casualties that day but a unit from the second of the twelfth Cav was sent in to help us and to get us,” said York as he was describing what is in his book.
Each page capturing the blood, sweat and tears of the 1st Calvary Division’s time fighting in the Vietnam war in 1969 and 1970, but it was a long journey between then and now for a Los Lunas man.
“I stopped working then everything fell on me on my shoulders, you know? I was all emotions. All bad dreams everything hit me,” York said
It was PTSD.
For the first time, nearly 50 years later, he was able to reflect without distractions, on those memories but it wasn’t until York’s mom died that he found the letters she kept this whole time.
“In her closet we found a box full of all my letters I had written home from Vietnam I would write home two to three times a week,” York said, but some experiences he kept to himself.
“A lot of stuff you didn’t want to write home to your mom,” York said.
At reunions and get-togethers with family and friends, York shared more and more about the Vietnam War.
“People start saying we need to put this down. We need to put this down for future generations so people won’t forget,” York said.
His place in the war and how it shaped him, but most importantly, the end of a chapter for a soldier who came home a Vietnam veteran.
“Getting me involved in writing the book was better therapy then any I received at the VA or from any therapist. Talking about this really took a lot off me,” York said.
York’s book describes so much more than KRQE News 13 can tell you about in out a short time, including some happy stories.
He said all the proceeds will go to a scholarship fund for the children and grandchildren of the 1st Calvary Division and agencies that support homeless veterans.